What’s the Impact of Redundancy on Job Prospects?

3 minute read

Many things can contribute to major changes in an organisation, such as management re-structures, new technology and budget cuts. No matter how good you are at your job, or how long you’ve been there, you’re not immune to the impact of redundancy.

Knowing how to bounce back after being made redundant can be a real character-defining experience. True, it’s emotionally draining, but it doesn’t have to affect your chances in the job market. That’s why it’s so important not to let yourself get defeated. If your role is made redundant, you’ll need to change how you approach your search for a new job.

Let’s explore some of the ways you can make the best of a redundancy.


Take some time to evaluate the situation

It’s important to think about what’s happened and what steps you want to take next in your career. Start by thinking about the reason for the redundancy. Remember, it’s not your fault that your employer has decided to reduce their staff. (Of course, it’s important to know your rights and to check that the reason was fair.)

Focus on the impact of redundancy on your mental health. Losing a job is a huge stressor. If you can make peace with it, you’ll be in a better mental state to look for a new job. Talking to friends and family about the experience may help. Or you may want to consult a medical professional who can help you process your thoughts and emotions during this time.

Next, set your sights on finding a new position. You don’t necessarily have to do the same job as before. This could be your opportunity to explore something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to work for a charity—now’s the time to do it. You can use this downtime as a chance to brush up on new skills or even do a bit of volunteering and figure out your next move.

What’s the Impact of Redundancy on Job Prospects?

Prove your value to new employers

Being made redundant doesn’t make you a bad employee. Consider the value you offered your previous employer and think about ways you can demonstrate that same value to hiring managers. Include all your best accomplishments from your last job in your CV and cover letter, and start thinking about how you can achieve the same level of success at your next job.

Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills, too. Communication, teamwork and problem-solving are vital in nearly any job. Make sure the soft skills you highlight align with the values of the organisation you’re applying to.

For example, if you want to work in international development then empathy in communication is key. Or maybe you’re looking to do something more community-based? Then you’ll need experience working with a diverse range of people from various cultures and backgrounds.

Give examples of how you used those soft skills to provide value at your previous job. And be prepared to explain how those same skills will be valuable in your new role.


Address employment gaps

Explaining gaps in your employment history can be challenging, but at the end of the day, we’ve all been there. Don’t forget, your interviewer is human too, and often employment gaps are out of our control.

If your tenure in your previous position was brief, you might be tempted to leave it off your CV entirely. But that can make for a larger employment gap. Be honest and upfront about your job history. Recruiters will appreciate it more than you might think.

Include every job that’s relevant for the role, especially if you were there long-term. Don’t forget, your work history is an outline of why you’re a great fit for this new position and charity. In your cover letter or during an interview, be honest about the impact of redundancy on your employment gap. Then go on to highlight how you’ve used that time productively, such as by volunteering for a cause you believe in.

What’s the Impact of Redundancy on Job Prospects?

Can you reduce the chances of redundancy in the future?

You can’t always predict what’s going to happen. But what you can focus on is making yourself as skilled and employable as possible. Taking classes and getting training can help to keep your skills up to date.

Programs like Creative Cloud, Photoshop, Microsoft 365 and QuickBooks are constantly releasing new versions. When you decide to look for a new position, having up-to-date skills will make you a valuable candidate, since many charities won’t have the money or time to invest in training you.

You should always take advantage of professional development opportunities that your employer offers. Keep updated about any changes and organisational developments that occur so that you can anticipate staffing changes and stay ahead. You can also use your annual reviews to identify areas where you can improve and to receive valuable feedback from a supervisor.


Learning to move forward

It’s not always possible to avoid redundancy. But by taking an active role in your charity, you can reduce the chances of it happening again. If your role is made redundant, remember that the impact of redundancy doesn’t have to be negative. You can bounce back from redundancy and even use it as a stepping stone in your career.

Looking for your next role in the charity sector? Find out which charities are hiring today.


This post was originally published in 2019. We’ve updated it to ensure relevance and to reflect the current job seeker experience.


Adrian Johansen

Adrian Johansen loves writing about her life experiences, which range from business, to travel, to just living in this crazy world. You can find more of her writing on Contently

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